The Characters in American Splendor
It is no secret the pressure an author faces when describing those nearest and dearest to them. The fact that Pekar chose to do his memoires in a graphic manner puts pressure on him in two distinct ways. Firstly the dialogue in which he writes about them, secondly, the illustrators he choses to portray them through. I believe that Harvey had a method to his writing and chose each illustrator that he felt complimented the story of those around him best. For example, Whenever a woman is mentioned, she is usually drawn in a better light then those chosen to illustrate the men.
The Women of American Splendor – Bushra Mahmood
Joyce and Harvey were in their most successful relationship together for many reasons, a primary reason could be that their outlooks were similar if not exactly the same. To suggest why Joyce and Harveys relationship worked so well, one can look at numerous interviews of them together, or they can simply look at her perspective on him after his death. Joyce Brabner was interviewed by the New York times about the future of American Splendor, In true Pekar fashion she commented by saying “He just looks like kitty litter.” (D, Itzkoff, New York Times, September 5th, 2010). I find that such a pessimistic yet truthful insight to a painful moment is something that Pekar would have done and in translation is a true ode to him.
The Men of American Splendor – Bushra Mahmood
“What’s amiss with American Splendor? I could have used more of Mr. Boats, my favorite character from Pekar’s comic, an African-American co-worker with an archaic, different-drummer vantage on life.” (Peary, September 2003, WBUR Radio)
In a film review about American Splendor, critic Gerald Peary pointed out just how important and lovable Mr Boats is in American Splendor. The rest of the article is located on Gerald’s personal site here .